Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

Pergo posts loss, delays Garner expansion

THURSDAY, April 22 - Pergo reported increased sales for the first quarter, but restructuring charges dragged Swedish laminate flooring maker's earnings into the red. In addition, the company said it would delay the $16 million expansion of its Garner facility by one quarter.

Pergo's North American headquarters is in Raleigh and its only U.S. production plant is in Garner. It has 268 North American employees, the vast majority of whom are in Wake County.

The company's first-quarter sales grew to $97.1 million from $88.3 million in 2003. North American sales jumped 32 percent to $60.1 million from $53.1 million. The sales figures exclude currency effects.

However, $32.5 million in charges for restructuring in Sweden resulted in an operating loss of $30.3 million and a loss after tax for $30.98 million. In the first quarter of 2003, the company posted an operating profit and an after-tax profit in the $1 million range.

Pergo credited North American revenue growth to higher sales at Lowe's Home Improvement stores in the United States, which began offering Pergo products at the end of the first quarter of 2003, and higher sales through The Home Depot and specialty retailers.

In Garner, the company has delayed its construction schedule for the $16 million direct laminating press investment that had been scheduled to be complete the first quarter of 2005. The company now states it will not start production on the new line until the second quarter of 2005.

Pergo had announced in March that it was laying off 120 people at one of its production plants in Perstorp, Sweden, as the company consolidates some of its high-end tile production into a facility in Trelleborg, Sweden.

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